Taking a Bungie jump.
Destiny 2 is an online-only shared world shooter set in the distant future, where a space faring mankind must defend Earth from alien threats that have found their way to our galaxy.
You play as a nameless Guardian, a protector of Earth’s last safe city who wields a power called the Light to push back the Darkness which threatens humanity. Here’s everything you need to know.
Destiny is developed by Bungie and published by Activision
Just three months after the first Destiny game launched, in December 2014 Activision CEO David Dague teased that a future sequel would see player progress carried over, meaning players’ Guardians would make the leap to a second game.
It wasn’t until March 2017 that Bungie officially inked a September 8 release date in our calendars, confirming a release on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
What’s the story?
Destiny 2 starts with a bang. Dominus Ghaul, the military emperor of the Cabal Empire, has destroyed the Tower using the might of his Red Legion – an undefeated military machine whose sole purpose is to overthrow worlds.
He’s after the Traveller, the mysterious sphere that hangs above Earth and bestows on Guardians their power. Ghaul believes the Traveler made a mistake in favouring humanity, and his unprecedented attack strips you of your powers in a bid to harness them for the Cabal. You can watch 7 minutes of the opening mission here.
At E3 this year, game director Luke Smith confirmed that this is a story about Light and not Darkness. The amorphous force so frequently referenced in the first game won’t be explained in the sequel, instead, the plot centres on Ghaul’s efforts to wield Guardians’ Light.
Weapons and Powers
In our world gameplay reveal in May, it became clear that to defeat Ghaul, you’re going to need guns. And rocket launchers. And humongous swords.
Your weapons system is now divided into three new slots: Kinetic, Energy and Power. Kinetic relates to anything that fires physical projectiles. Energy weapons have a burn. Power weapons are special weapons.
Energy weapons are a curve ball. Any kinetic weapon can be found in this slot, but the twist is they carry elemental types, meaning they can deliver Arc, Solar, or Void damage. As a result they’re better at taking down shields and dealing extra damage to enemies who are weak to a specific elemental type.
And, of course, each of these weapons is divided into categories of rarity, from basic to uncommon, rare, legendary and finally the highly-coveted exotics, like the Coldheart rifle.
The original character classes of Hunter, Warlock and Titan are also making a return, with three new subclasses: Arcstrider Hunters wield a souped up electrified staff; Sentinel Titans can summon a shield of void energy; and Dawnblade Warlocks rain destruction from the skies with a fiery sword.
But where are you going to be directing all this firepower? Ghaul’s smug Cabal face is obviously your primary target, but old adversaries also return.
The robotic Vex, four-armed Fallen, the Taken, and the zombie-like Hive are all back, but Bungie has enhanced AI so they can respond more intelligently to your playstyle. In most encounters combatants have the upper hand, forcing players to switch loadouts quickly to adjust their tactics on the fly.
Interestingly, lore about these enemies and the world of Destiny will now be apparent in the game. The divisive Grimoire Cards are no more, with side quests now providing more detail on the background of creatures and NPCs.
Being flexible and understanding your enemies’ behaviours is key to surviving in Destiny 2’s PVE modes, including story missions, loot filled dungeons called “Lost Sectors”, and side quests called “Adventures.”
The Crucible is the forge in which your skills are honed against other players, earning sweet loot in the process. There are four new maps: the Endless Vale, Midtown, Altar of Flame, and Vostok, plus two new game modes, Survival and Countdown.
In Survival, teams share eight lives between them; once they’ve all been used, permadeath kicks in, and the last team standing wins. In Countdown, your job is to plant a bomb and defend it until it explodes, or swap sides and stop the enemy team from planting theirs.
All matches are now 4v4 instead of 6v6, meaning a single death now wipes out a quarter of your team’s firepower. A player’s contributions to their team are more valuable than ever before, so here are 10 tips for victory in the Crucible.
Still, if you struggled previously to find enough friends online to play with, a new feature called Clans makes it much easier for solo players to form a Fireteam. Join a clan, and you have 99 other members to play alongside on a Raid, in the Crucible, or just cruising around finding loot.
Destiny 2 comes out on September 6th on PS4 and Xbox One, and October 24th on PC. For more, check out our interview with Bungie on its vision for the sequel, or 24 minutes of Strike gameplay as a Titan.